List of politically motivated renamings

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An early political cartoon lampooning the name change of hamburger meat during World War I.



  • Australia: During World War I, jam-filled buns previously known as Berliners were renamed Kitchener buns, and a sausage product previously known as "Fritz" was renamed "Devon" (or "luncheon meat").[citation needed]
  • New Zealand: In 1998, while the French government was testing nuclear weapons in the Pacific, French loaves were renamed Kiwi loaves in a number of supermarkets and bakeries. This, however, does not appear to have been as extensively reported or publicized as anti-French sentiment in the United States. However, French Fries at a few family restaurants were renamed Kiwi fries, or just "Fries", which was already an established term. New Zealanders, however, generally use the British English word "chips".[citation needed]


  • France: During the French Revolution, the Committee of Public Safety went so far as to banish all words associated with royalty. A major example of their work was taking Kings and Queens out of playing cards and replacing them with Committee members. It lasted less than a year. It is commonly believed that this was also the time when Aces earnt their status as being both the highest card and the lowest card.[4]
  • France: During World War I, coffee with whipped cream, previously known as Café Viennois (Vienna coffee), was renamed Café Liégeois (Coffee from Liège) due to the state of war with Austria-Hungary. This appellation is still in use today, mainly for ice-creams (chocolat liégeois and café liegeois).[citation needed]
  • Russia: During World War I, Saint Petersburg was renamed 'Petrograd', amounting effectively to a translation of the name from German to Russian.

North America[edit]

  • United States: During World War I, the German Spitz was renamed the American Eskimo Dog, and during the 2003 invasion of Iraq, freedom fries was a short-lived political euphemism for French fries, used by some to express their disapproval of the French opposition to the invasion.[8] In response to the French government's opposition to the prospective invasion of Iraq in 2003, the Republican Chairman on the Committee of House Administration renamed French fries "Freedom Fries," and the change was originally supported and followed by some restaurants. The term has since reverted to the original.


  1. ^ "Iranians rename Danish pastries". BBC. 2006-02-17. Retrieved 2008-03-20. 
  2. ^ "Iran targets Danish pastries". Associated Press. Al Jazeera. 2006-03-02. Archived from the original on 2006-12-08. Retrieved 2008-03-20. 
  3. ^ "Cyprus villagers make giant sweet". BBC News. 2004-10-18. 
  4. ^ Hérault, Irish (2010-01-31). "French playing cards and card stuff". Retrieved 2010-11-22. 
  5. ^ Turkish coffee#Greece
  6. ^ Robert Browning, Medieval and Modern Greek, 1983. ISBN 0-521-29978-0. p. 16
  7. ^ "Name - If some things never change, when did they begin?". Library and Archives Canada. 2004-02-04. Archived from the original on 2008-05-17. Retrieved 2008-02-20. 
  8. ^ "Over Here: World War I on the Home Front". Digital History. Retrieved 2006-07-12.